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Seeding cover crops after wheat

By James Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services

Wheat will be maturing early due to 90-degree F temperatures.  Wheat grows best under cooler temperatures (less than 80 degrees F) and moist soil conditions.  Wheat stands look great, but starts to die with hot dry temperatures, resulting in lower wheat yields.   Wheat harvest may start in 4-5 weeks, so start ordering cover crop seed now.  A long growing season after wheat allows for many cover crops options.

Warm season cover crops grow in the summer but die with the first frost while cool season species generally survive the winter.  Major categories include legumes, grasses, brassicas, and other broadleaves.  Each cover crop has certain benefits and disadvantages. Cover crops benefits include adding carbon, improving water infiltration and soil structure, tying up soluble nutrients, and are good weed fighters.

Legumes and clovers are high nitrogen fixers before corn and are slightly more expensive.  Warm season legumes include cowpeas and Austrian winter peas while cool season legumes include true winter peas and vetches (hairy, wooly, common, etc) and may add 50-150#N/A if allowed to bloom.  

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Logan to retire from COBA/Select Sires

Duane Logan announced to the COBA/Select Sires board of directors and employees that he plans to retire by the end of 2021. He has led the cooperative for the past 8 years as general manager. 

“Consistent, direct, and detailed, Duane has made a lasting impact on the member-owner-customers as well as the employees of COBA/Select Sires,” said Chad Steinberger, current board president. “We appreciate his dedication to cooperative members and employees. He has empowered his employees to serve cooperative member to the best of their abilities and it shows by growth of the cooperative.” 

Logan has long been an influential figure in COBA leadership. While still dairying in Trumbull County, he served on the COBA/Select Sires board of directors. He was elected to three consecutive terms before the herd sold and he joined the management team in Columbus. Serving as marketing director-north for 18 years prior to serving as general manager, Logan has been an integral part of the growth from 943,000 units in 2000 to 2.5 million units of semen sold in 2020.… Continue reading

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Early season insect pests

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

With the slow growth, no growth or no emergence of the corn and soybean crop through the month of May, insects in many cases have been able to keep up with crop progress. I like to use a calendar of pests from the Corn, Soybean, Wheat and Forages Field Guide as a starting point to know what and when to watch for pest problems.

The scouting calendar is based on an average year. As you can see for both corn and soybeans we typically have some time to go before we are beyond the threat of insect pests. Pests we have seen in May have been a few slugs, some flea beetle, and a few chewing caterpillars — last year we saw a lot more. We have European corn borer and corn rootworm as well as some anticipated bean leaf beetle to scout for in June.… Continue reading

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Head scab risk low for wheat

By Pierce Paul and Aaron Wilson, Ohio State University Extension

According to the FHB forecasting system (, the risk for head scab is low across the state of Ohio for wheat flowering (anthesis) today, May 24, and over the next three days. Although temperatures have increased over the last few days, it has been very dry across most of the state where is crop is between full head emergence and early anthesis (flowering). Infrequent rainfall and low relative humidity between heading and early grain fill usually reduce the risk for scab, as the disease develops best under warm, wet, or humid conditions. However, do keep your eyes on the weather and the forecasting system as the crop continues to go through the anthesis growth stage over the next several days. The forecast is for cooler temperatures and average rainfall over the next week, with a few scattered and isolated showers between Wednesday and Saturday.… Continue reading

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“It’s just $5 an acre” or “This just drives me nuts!”

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

I have friends in ag retail who sell you stuff. Their job is to sell you stuff. Your job is to determine the value and whether or not you need this stuff. At OSU we try to give you guidance on what stuff you need. Make sense?

And the quote “drives me nuts” is from a farmer friend who tried to tell his retailer that he doesn’t want the extra juice that they insist is “just $5 an acre.”

Micro-mixes — Do we need to add micronutrients?

Our soil tests are most reliable for pH, phosphorus and potassium and can work reasonably well for zinc, and with a high pH we can predict a Manganese tie up. We usually use a combination of soil and tissue tests to determine micronutrient deficiencies.

Typically we will see deficiencies occur in small isolated areas of a field first.… Continue reading

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Students discover and explore careers in agricultural cooperatives in Virtual Youth Cooperative Leadership Experience

By Ivory Harlow

The Hocking County Farm Bureau and Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Center for Cooperatives partnered to create an innovative online experience for high school students to discover and explore careers in agricultural cooperatives. 

The virtual experience launched in May 2021. It is accessible through a website called Youth Cooperative Leadership Experience Online. The website features innovative and exciting ag co-op career content that teachers can easily build into classroom learning during the 2021 school year and beyond. The open-access format also allows students to visit the website outside of class to learn from leaders in the agricultural industry.

The virtual program is free and available to all educators and students, but was designed to speak the unique challenges students face in rural Appalachian counties. According to the Appalachian Regional Commission, only 9.8% of Appalachian residents age 25 to 64 obtain an associate’s degree and 21.8% of residents in central Appalachia obtain a bachelor’s degree.… Continue reading

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Thin soybean stands: Should I replant, fill In, or leave them alone?

By Andrew P. Robinson, Department of Agronomy, Purdue University and Shawn P. Conley, Department of Agronomy, University of Wisconsin, with additions from Laura Lindsey, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, The Ohio State University

One of the most difficult early-season management questions that soybean growers ask is “Should I replant this poor soybean stand or leave it alone?” The answer depends on a number of factors, and growers quickly need to make accurate stand and potential yield loss estimates to determine the most profitable course of action.

Identify the causes of low plant population

The first step all growers should take before making any replant decision is to identify what caused the poor stand. Did the seed fail to germinate, or did it germinate, then die? What caused poor emergence? Identifying the cause is important because if conditions have not changed, then replanting will simply repeat the problem. Early planting is a common source of poor stand problems.

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Karcher named new chair of CFAES Department of Horticulture and Crop Science

Douglas Karcher, PhD, an alumnus of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), is returning to the college as professor and chair in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. His four-year term begins Aug. 1, 2021, pending approval by the university’s Board of Trustees.

Karcher currently works at the University of Arkansas, where he is interim assistant director of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station and is turfgrass specialist, professor, and assistant head in the Department of Horticulture. He started his career as an assistant professor in that department in 2000, was promoted to associate professor in 2005, and became professor in 2016.

“We are excited in bringing an engaged leader like Dr. Karcher to OSU,” said Cathann A. Kress, vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES. “He has a record demonstrating effective scholarship, a commitment to students, and productive relationships with stakeholders. Further, his leadership regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion are quite welcome, and align with our continued focus on DEI as a college.”… Continue reading

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Updating the MRTN nitrogen rates?

By Harold Watters, Ohio State University Extension agronomist

I have had a couple of guys tell me they are going to “load it up” — meaning they are thinking about adding more than their typical level of inputs — but even with high prices, economics still plays a role.

Prices for both nitrogen and corn have changed dramatically since our discussion of nitrogen rates back in March. As we prepare this article, corn for fall delivery is around $5.80 per bushel and nitrogen prices are $0.45 to $0.65 per pound of N depending on the source of N you chose. The scenarios in the table incorporate prices of 28% UAN or anhydrous ammonium and a range of corn prices from $4.50 to $6.00 per bushel to determine the maximum return to nitrogen rate in a soybean to corn rotation. 

The tables show a single value and a rate range. The single value is the MRTN rate, which maximizes the return to nitrogen.… Continue reading

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Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation to award “Y Prize”

Farm life can be demanding and stressful, and the mental health challenges that come with it is an ongoing problem. Ohio Farm Bureau has been a part of many initiatives to raise mental health awareness and reduce stigma surrounding the issue in rural communities. Yvonne Lesicko, former Ohio Farm Bureau vice president of public policy who died unexpectedly in June 2020, was one of the leaders who helped to create the state’s “Got Your Back” farm stress coalition.

The Yvonne Lesicko Memorial Fund was created last year to recognize her life and career. The fund, within the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, was established to support the causes and initiatives that she cared so deeply about, including farmer mental health. To date, due to the generosity of more than 300 donors, the fund has raised more than $80,000.

The Yvonne Lesicko Perseverance Prize, the “Y Prize” for short, is a new award created by the fund.… Continue reading

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Roller coaster weather

By Jim Noel, NOAA

The climate has been on a wild roller coaster. After a cool early May, late May was really warm bringing temperatures for May to near normal. Rainfall has also been on a roller coaster.

For June we expect the roller coaster to continue with the trend being your friend. Confidence is not high in the outlooks as our models have struggled a little. The soil moisture you have in the ground is a great predictor (30-50% of the total weight) of your potential outcome for rainfall in the summer. Dry areas tend to stay drier and wet areas tend to stay wetter. 

The June outlook calls for slightly warmer than normal temperatures (with some big swings still). It may start off a little cooler before turning warmer than normal again.  Rainfall favors not far from normal north and wetter than normal far south. Confidence is low in the northwest area of the state where it could also end a bit drier as storms keep missing that area.… Continue reading

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Ohio Department of Agriculture finds Evergreen Grain Co. insolvent

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) found Evergreen Grain Co. in Clyde insolvent after discovering it was unable to cover its outstanding obligations to farmers. Evergreen Grain, located at 5485 State Route 101 E, Clyde, OH 43410, was suspended on May 13, 2021 to prevent additional outstanding obligations and to facilitate a remedy through the Grain Indemnity Fund.

ODA was alerted to potential financial problems at Evergreen by a farmer who was having trouble collecting payment for deposited grain in March. This prompted an investigation by ODA grain auditors, which found a $1.3 million financial shortfall.

If you believe you have outstanding grain obligations with Evergreen Grain Co. please call ODA at 614-728-6410 or toll free at 800-282-1955. Ohio’s Grain Indemnity Fund was created in 1983 to reimburse farmers when a licensed handler becomes insolvent. Since the fund was established, it has reimbursed farmers more than $17.7 million and is funded through a half-cent per bushel assessment on grain marketed at licensed elevators.… Continue reading

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Market attention turning to June 30 report

By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC

Both July and December corn futures closed higher last week compared to the end of the previous week and are still at or above levels from 3 weeks ago.

Old crop corn

The factors impacting old crop corn prices:

  • Chinese demand for old crop corn is still uncertain, as many in the trade debate how many bushels will be shipped versus being pushed into next year’s crop.
  • As the economy opens and people start driving to work or on vacations, ethanol consumption should increase. 
  • Beneficial rain throughout the southern U.S. is keeping the grass green and demand for feed stocks at levels that don’t strain the markets.

Old crop carryout is very tight. It seems many ethanol plants have coverage on through the first part of July, but August and early September is less certain. Plus, due to the large market inverse between July and September futures, it’s unlikely commercial elevators are going to be holding grain past July.… Continue reading

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USDA announces new initiative to quantify climate benefits of Conservation Reserve Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced an initiative to quantify the climate benefits of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts. This multi-year effort will enable USDA to better target CRP toward climate outcomes and improve existing models and conservation planning tools while supporting USDA’s goal of putting American agriculture and forestry at the center of climate-smart solutions to address climate change.

“CRP is a powerful tool for implementing voluntary, measurable conservation outcomes to mitigate the impacts of climate change,” said Zach Ducheneaux, FSA Administrator. “Nearly 21 million acres currently enrolled in the program prevent the equivalent of more than 12 million tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. Further quantifying program benefits will allow us to better target CRP to achieve continued climate wins across environmentally sensitive lands while strengthening our modeling and conservation planning resources for all producers.”

 FSA has historically worked with partners to identify Monitoring, Assessment and Evaluation (MAE) projects to quantify CRP environmental benefits to water quality and quantity, wildlife and rural economies.… Continue reading

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Soybean stands: Emergence? Replant?

Adapted from Purdue University Pest and Crop Newsletter, Issue 2021.7, By: Shaun Casteel

Soybean planting progress was off to a good pace in April. All of that came to a screeching halt with rains (and snow in some areas). The past week, dryer conditions and warmer temperatures  prevailed. As of May 23rd, Ohio has 66% of the soybean acres planted and 28% emerged. Some parts of the state are evaluating the potential need to replant some of the early April plantings. The heavy rains, crusted soils, and cold late April temperatures have raised some concerns with the soybean stand establishment.

Time to Emergence

Purdue University has evaluated planting dates and planting operations for several management scenarios as well as documenting soybean phenology (development). The following information is really to help provide some guidelines to forecast soybean emergence. Heat unit accumulation is used in estimating the development of many crops (emergence to successive leaf development).

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Federal ruling could leave hog producers in a bind 🎙

By Matt Reese

Citing food and worker safety concerns, there have been multiple recent court cases challenging the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s New Swine Inspection System (NSIS). The results of a recent court ruling in one of those cases could back up production supply chains for hog producers.

In September of 2019, USDA announced a final rule to modernize swine slaughter inspection with the NSIS to protect public health while allowing for food safety innovations and increased line speeds for processing facilities to operate more efficiently. The final rule also allowed market hog establishments to choose if they will operate under NSIS or continue to operate under traditional inspection.

“This regulatory change allows us to ensure food safety while eliminating outdated rules and allowing for companies to innovate,” then USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said. “The final rule is the culmination of a science-based and data-driven rule making process which builds on the food safety improvements made in 1997, when USDA introduced a system of preventive controls for industry.”… Continue reading

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Ohio’s Country Journal & Ohio Ag Net Podcast | Ep. 206 | Mental Health Month

Matt, Dusty and Kolt are joined by Ty Higgins of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation to talk about Mental Health Month. Ty and Kolt both completed Mental Health First Aid training and discuss how that is beneficial to agriculture. Plus, Dusty catches up with David Myerholtz in the first installment of the Ohio Field Leader Roadshow and Kolt visits with Coy Patton of Bane Welker Equipment discussing the parts shortage. All of that and more powered by AgriGold!… Continue reading

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Lori Ziehr as named Acting State Conservationist for NRCS

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is pleased to announce Lori Ziehr as the Acting Ohio State Conservationist. Ziehr comes to Ohio from Texas where she serves as the Assistant State Conservationist (ASTC) for Programs. 

During her 23 years with NRCS, Ziehr has served in technical positions such as rangeland management specialist and agronomist, in addition to technology and leadership positions.  She also served as Acting ASTC for Management and Strategy in Louisiana and Acting State Conservationist in Montana.

“I am excited about this opportunity to serve as Ohio’s State Conservationist,” said Ziehr. “I look forward to working closely with Ohio NRCS’ partners and staff helping producers, farmers and woodland owners put conservation on the ground.”

During her time in Ohio, Ziehr looks forward to learning more about Ohio’s unique partnerships associated with the Great Lakes and visiting the state’s many farm operations and urban agriculture programs. … Continue reading

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Watch for cress leaf groundsel in pastures

By Dean Kreager, Licking County Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator Ohio State University Extension

This weed has been showing up everywhere this spring.

The yellow flowers may be attractive but it is toxic to livestock especially if it is made in hay where the animals can’t eat around it.  Click on this link for a 12 minute video on managing this noxious weed: Managing Cressleaf groundsel in hayfields.… Continue reading

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